Monday, February 7, 2011

Review: If I Stay

If I StayIf I Stay by Gayle Forman
Date Released: April 9, 2009 (hardcover)
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Pages: 259 (paperback)
Young Adult
Overall: 5+
|Book Website| |Author Twitter|

Mia has no memory of the accident that changed her life. This inexperienced 17-year-old only recalls riding on that slippery Oregon road with her family, then, in an instant, seeing herself lifted from the twisted wreck. This affecting story of one young woman's struggle through tragedy and grieving will appeal to readers of books likeThirteen Reasons Why. Synopsis Via Goodreads

My Thoughts:

Crying by page 22. Speechless. Intensely beautiful. Desperately romantic.

If I Stay is another book that I won't write much on in fear of not doing it justice. Gayle Forman really got this novel right from the first breath to its last.

Composed of present day happenings and past flashbacks, If I Stay is the tragic tale about how even the most innocent of trips can turn into your worst nightmare.  This story revolves around eighteen year old, musically inclined, Mia, her family, and her boyfriend.  Each voice you come across in this book is perfectly-un-perfect and I couldn't help fall in love with them all for one reason or another.

Never take anything for granted... this book was impossible for me not to become immediately emotionally vested in because it felt like I was the one there, laying in the ICU hospital bed, remembering all of the moments which made up my life, listening to the hustle and bustle around me, learning the tragic truths of what would be my life if I choose to let go or decide to go back to it.  I felt like the ghost that was floating around watching those left mourn for me and make promises to me near lifeless corpse.  Needless to say, tissue was a must.

One theme of this book that brought it altogether, and make sense of what otherwise wouldn't have, was the music that bound it together.  Mia's parents, Mia's brother, Mia's boyfriend and herself.  It all played a part in this story, helping form each character's personality and giving everyone a common ground, a driving passion for life.  Everyone's love for music gave this story a background melody that played while I devoured this book in one sitting.

If I Stay is a truly beautiful book composed of numerous parallels that gives this book a depth I couldn't ignore and couldn't help but respect.  Even with the sorrow that accompanies this book there is plenty of smiles to be found in the flashbacks of memories.  Despite the life-changing events and when nothing seems worth it anymore, there is hope found to grasp onto.  Even having no clue which decision is ultimately the right decision there is solace found in knowing that love awaits you no matter which way you go.    If I Stay is truly breath taking and despite it's size bares an impact that will follow me, follow you.

Cover: 5
Characters: 5
Plot: 5
Re-Readable: Yes!
Overall: 5+

On the cover:  I definitely appreciate the paperback cover over the hardback cover.  It strikes a cord (no pun intended) and seems to offer a deeper look into the contents of the pages between.  I look at it and it just seems right.


  1. I recently bought this book, but haven't read it yet. Now I can't wait! Great review!

  2. Great review! Glad you liked it. I'm looking forward to this sequel so much!


  3. Wonderful review - it's a beautiful book. I was such a mess the morning after that I couldn't write a review, so I wrote a letter to the author instead - you explained it perfectly. I can't wait for Where She Went.

    -Linds, bibliophile brouhaha

  4. I loved this book. It stayed with me long after I was finished reading it.


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